Slantry Wood Local Nature Reserve

Slantry Wood Local Nature ReserveThe land within Slantry Wood Local Nature Reserve was used for agricultural purposes until the 1960’s when it came into public ownership. In the late 1960’s the woodland areas were planted, while the meadow areas remained in agricultural use. Following a campaign by local residents the area was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 2008.

Today Slantry Wood contains a number of important habitats including wet woodland, mixed woodland, lowland meadow, and hedgerows, all of which support an intricate range of wildlife.WoodlandThe woodland is made up of native tree species such as oak, ash, hazel, and willow, and a number of non-native trees such as Italian Alder, and European Larch. This type of mixed woodland offers a diverse range of food and shelter for many species while also providing ideal conditions for ferns, lichen and fungi. Undisturbed woodland where decomposing leaves, fallen and standing deadwood, and climbing plants are allowed to accumulate provides the greatest benefit for wildlife.

You will see many good examples of this type of habitat as you continue your walk through the wood.In springtime, before the tree canopy closes over, the woodland floor is carpeted with patches of Wood Anemone, Lesser Celandine, and Bluebells.Hay MeadowAmong the many wildflowers and grasses located within the meadows at Slantry Wood are Meadow Buttercup, Devil’s-bit Scabious, Mouse-ear, Self-heal, Ragged Robin and Sweet vernal grass. Sweet vernal grass is the plant which gives hay its pleasant smell.

During good weather in summer you will be able to see many different types of butterflies such as Small Tortoiseshell, Green-veined White, and Speckled Wood flying over the meadow and around the woodland edges.HedgerowsHedgerows were traditionally planted to mark areas of land ownership and to provide shelter for livestock.

Whilst they have declined in recent decades hedgerows remain an important source of food, shelter and breeding sites for insects, nesting birds, and small animals. The hedgerows which you can see around the meadows at the northern end of the Nature Reserve contain species such as hawthorn, blackthorn, ash, honeysuckle and wild rose.

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